Friday, 24 May 2013

Three brave men - Somalia

Long before the arrival of the Americans in Somalia, farmland near Baidoa was the location for an agricultural rehabilitation programme.

Crossing the Shebelle with  agricultural extension workers
Unlike the surrounding desert Baidoa was green and verdant with abundant coconut and banana plantations. You could still see the concrete huts in which the former Italian colonists kept their plantation workers.  During the rainy season stagnant pools between the houses were ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes – dengue and malaria were rife.

seed trials
Much of the work was restoration of irrigation channels and the perennial problem of raising water from the Shebelle River. The pumps long since  looted.

Where there was once a pump to raise water from the Shabelle
That we managed to bring large swathes of agricultural land back into productive use was down to the determination and bravery of three exceptional extension workers.

 Three  brave men.

and their appreciative audience